It’s not often I travel to the same place twice. Part of the reason I love traveling is that I enjoy discovering somewhere new every time. But sometimes a destination is so special that I can’t help going back. One such location is the Scottish Hebrides. After an amazing week sailing in the Hebrides last year, my friends and I booked ourselves in for the same week this year. So I’m off again for 7 days of sailing in the Scottish Hebrides.
7 Days Sailing in the Scottish Hebrides
Last year’s sailing trip will be hard to beat. Seven days of unstoppable sunshine, adorable puffins, and white sand beaches put the trip on a level so magical it felt like a fairytale. But I’m optimistic, and with a different itinerary we’re bound to find some new treasures in the islands.
Once again we depart from Dunstaffnage marina near Oban, this time on a beautiful Oyster 68 sailboat called Moonshadow. The owners, Colin and Pauline, are generous hosts and experienced sailors, and we know we’re in good hands for the week. We set off after a quick orientation and find ourselves heading north up the Sound of Mull.
Our 7 days sailing in the Scottish Hebrides start with a stop in Loch Aline. We anchor in front of the stunning Ardtornish House, and soon the magic sets in. The views are breathtaking and the weather fine, and we even see a seal playing in the water nearby.
Isle of Muck
The next morning we’re off to the Small Isles, an archipelago in the Inner Hebrides just south of the Isle of Skye.
The first island is Muck, which we discover is much lovelier than its name implies.
Anchoring off the south coast, we spend the afternoon walking across the island and taking in the scenery. I experience cuteness overload as spring lambs run along the beach, and my eyes delight at the sight of wild irises growing on shore. When the seals pop up to say hello, I feel like bursting into song.
Isle of Rum
The following morning we sail through rain to the Isle of Rum. As we go, I laugh at how worried I was that a bit of “liquid sunshine” would spoil the trip. The weather only adds to the atmosphere, and by the time we reach Rum I’ve decided I love seeing the islands in all conditions.
We spend the next day and a half on Rum, taking in everything from the natural highlights to the constructed.
First we tour the notorious Kinloch Castle, where the original owners are rumored to have thrown scandalous parties in the Edwardian days.
Afterwards we take advantage of good weather and go for a walk through the fields and along the coast. We spot everything from a lone red phone box to an otter hide.
We return the next day to hike from Kinloch to Kilmory, where wild deer and turquoise water welcome us to a Scottish paradise.
Isle of Canna
The next afternoon we set off on a sunny sail to Canna. Its green hills and stone buildings lure us in, and as soon as we’ve anchored we set out for a ramble.
Around the waterfront and over the bridge to Sanday we go. We’re in search of a puffin colony on the island’s southern coast, but keep getting sidetracked by horseshoe coves and rock stacks. By evening we’ve fallen in love with the island.
Isle of Skye
The next morning we set off for the Isle of Skye. Perhaps the most famous island in the Hebrides, it lives up to its reputation as soon as we arrive. Waterfalls zigzag down hills and the local seal population sends a delegation to greet us.
We anchor at Loch Scavig and quickly go ashore to walk around Loch Coruisk. Again we’re surrounded by high peaks and cascades, and I feel like I’ve fallen into a fairytale kingdom.
The following morning we depart for Loch Nevis and mainland Scotland. It’s a sunny sail filled with leaping porpoises and sweeping views, and I don’t want it to end. But as soon as we arrive at Inverie on the Knoydart Peninsula I’m ready to explore.
We stop for a quick drink at the local watering hole, which claims to be “mainland Britain’s remotest pub”, then head along the shore to take in the views. The peaks around us are stunning, and the loch itself keeps drawing our eyes for another look.
Back on the boat, I watch our last sunset with a heavy heart.
The following morning we’re off to Mallaig, where our sailing trip in the Hebrides comes to an end. And as soon as it does, I’m itching to return again. And again. And again.
Have you been here? Where would you go for 7 days of sailing in the Scottish Hebrides?